Ahmedabad, March 23: It goes without saying that this World Cup, Team India is enjoying the luxury of home advantage, with riotous crowds egging them on, with pulsating cheers meeting every run the batsman take and every wicket the bowlers ensnare, and an atmosphere imbued in palpable national pride (Gallery) (Scorecard).
But the stadiums at which each of India's scheduled encounters in the global event will unfold at, hold a certain significance. No, they are more than just the proverbial lucky charm. They carry a history which largely favours the Indian side... except in the case of the Sardar Patel stadium at Motera, Ahmedabad. At this ground India have tasted victory five times and have lost a total of seven, which means that its success rate is below 50% here.
It has 50-50 win-loss record against Australia at this venue, although those two matches unfolded in the early to mid 1980s when the compositions of the sides and the philosophy and strategies employed were vastly different. India has a 100 per cent win record against Zimbabwe at Motera, defeating these visitors in 1987 and then again in 2000. It's worst record is against the Windies versus whom they have lost thrice (in 1988, 1993 and 2006) and won just once (in 2002).
The home side has claimed victory against Sri Lanka once (in 1999) and lost to them once at this ground, which was in 2005, the same year
it was defeated by Pakistan as well here. In its last match at this venue, which occurred about a year ago, India went down to South Africa by 90 runs.
So hopefully, India will be able to beat the odds and come out victorious against the mighty Australians when it takes them on at this ground on Thursday, March 24, 2011. Ahmedabad's stadium may not be as lucky for India as other venues across the country, but it is believed to support spin which has become India's forte and trump card. So a myriad Indian fans will be hoping that that is exactly what happens at Motera...